Improving the probability of policy acceptance and implementation: lessons from the Gauteng Department of Education
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The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) identified human, systemic and structural challenges that constrained its ability to excel in delivering on its mandate (Department of Basic Education 2013; Chinsamy 2002; Roberts 2001). One of the strategies for addressing these challenges was the introduction of a new district realignment policy (Matthew Goniwe 2014), with its concomitant paradigm shift from a predominantly monitoring mode to a predominantly supportive one. In line with this policy, the GDE resolved to devote 80% of its work towards support of schools and 20% towards monitoring of compliance requirements. The implementation of this policy suffered some setbacks (HSRC 2015). These include: emanation of unfavourable perceptions, as the district officials felt they had been reduced from specialists to generalists; high staff turnover; weak support; poor communication and planning; and lack of will to support quality learning and teaching.